The Lawrence and Margarete Mertens Endowed Fellowship


Type

Scholarship / Fellowship

Value

$1,091,745 (2020)

Year Established

2014

Purpose

Provide support for a graduate student in the College of Engineering who shows significant promise and potential for achievement but has limited financial means. (612590)

Description

Recipient must be a U.S. citizen, with no arrest record, an outstanding academic record and a BS from a recognized College or University, employment record indicating active effort to help support his/her education seeking a Master or Doctorate degree in the College of Engineering.


History

Lawrence Mertens was Florida Tech’s first marine biology instructor who later became a major benefactor with his wife, Margarete Mertens.

In earlier years, Mertens was a chief scientist for RCS and was assigned to work on the Missile Test Range. During that time, he met his fellow engineer, Jerome Keuper, who asked him to serve as the first instructor for marine biology in the school he had founded, Florida Tech, after realizing how much of an expert Mertens was on the field.

From that moment, Mertens had significantly contributed to Florida Tech. For example, he designed and ran the first summer field course in the Bahamas for underwater photography and became the instructor for the university’s first course in optical oceanography. Additionally, he was the first Florida Tech member to author a college-level textbook on in-water photography.

In 2015, Lawrence and Margarete, established the Lawrence and Margarete Mertens Endowed Fellowship, with the purpose of benefiting graduate students in the College of Engineering and Computing.

Lawrence passed away on December 16th, 2017, at the age of 88.